With over 30,000 university courses offered throughout the UK, choosing the right one is no easy feat. For prospective students, the course on offer (its curriculum, assessment type, and structure) ranks as the most important consideration — closely followed by university reputation and career opportunities. Although the process of selecting the right university can seem daunting, there are simple ways you can narrow down your choices and find the right fit for you.

Consider the course and university ranking

Your search for the right university should be based on the course you want to do and the profession you wish to enter after graduating. Since not all universities offer the same courses, you’ll need to spend time researching the ones that do offer the one you’re interested in. Also, take into account specific course features and modules offered across universities — are they interesting, relevant, or beneficial to your career or not? You could also look into the professors teaching the course — are they big names or influential in their discipline? University ranking is another important consideration (the Times Higher Education list, for example, is reliable). Some lists are general rankings, while others may break it down further and rank each subject separately.

Consider the location

The location of the university will play a key role in your overall decision. Some people may yearn to live in the hustle and bustle of a large city, while others may prefer a smaller, quieter UK town. When determining how you feel about a potential university’s location, be sure to check your course’s campus location as it may differ from where the university is mainly based. It’s also important to take the location’s general atmosphere, social scene, nightlife, and local amenities and venues into account. Also, work out how long it takes and how much it costs to travel back home — train travel can be expensive depending on the route. It’s therefore important to compare rail fares to find the best deal. Splitting your ticket is one of the best ways to save money on your rail fare; this involves travelling on the same train, yet purchasing tickets for the journey in multiple parts.

Overseas opportunities

Is studying abroad a dream of yours? If so, you’ll need to take overseas placement opportunities offered by the university and course into account. Although the UK is no longer participating in the Erasmus programme due to Brexit, the Turning Scheme is providing an alternative way for at least 35,000 UK students to study and work across the globe, including in both EU and non-EU countries. Moreover, the Turning Scheme is particularly focused on providing study abroad opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not otherwise have them. Not only is studying abroad an enriching experience, but it also equips you with valuable experience that impresses employers and stands out on your CV.

With so many factors to consider, choosing the right university takes careful thought and consideration. By taking the course, university ranking, location, and overseas opportunities into account, you’ll find it easier to find the right university for you.